It’s very unusual for us to post guest bloggers here, however, there are exceptions, especially when such an informative article is written like the following from Gary Konecky
Gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities are subjected to discrimination and violence all over the world. Often, these attacks are justified, encouraged, and motivated by religious teachings. The religions most often responsible for these attacks are certain branches of Judaism, the Roman Catholic Church, certain protestant faiths, Christian fundamentalists, and Muslims. This analysis is going to detail the massive extent of homophobia in our society and then the biblical prohibitions against such discrimination and persecution.
One of the reasons gays and lesbians are condemned in society because they do not engage “natural sex”. As Rabbi Simchah Roth notes: “When heterosexuals involve themselves with masturbation, mutual masturbation, fellatio, anti-pregnancy pills, condoms, spermicides, curettage and the most amazing acrobatic feats in order to defeat conception, the heterosexual claim to ‘natural sex’ is sheer hypocrisy!”
Gays and lesbians are singled out as promiscuous, often by religious leaders and politicians. Yet when those same gays and lesbians attempt to form a committed monogamous relationship; those same religious leaders and politicians condemn gays and lesbians as they rant about the sanctity of traditional marriage and make false statements such as “the bible says marriage should be between one man and one woman.” Setting aside the multiple wives and concubines of the bible (as well as the commandment that a rapist marry his rape victim); this argument is nothing more than these homophobic politicians and religious leaders trying to have their cake and eat it too (in a damned if gays and lesbians do, damned if gays and lesbians don’t scenario).
Nor can we overlook the politicians and religious leaders that use gays and lesbians as whipping boys in their culture wars, in their fundraising, and in their political campaigns. Many of these politicians and religious leaders have gone so far as to demand that gays and lesbians be stripped of the limited legal protections currently afforded gays and lesbians. Least anyone think that will not happen here, it has already happened. In California in 2008, the Mormon Church allegedly violated campaign finance laws and bought the election to have same sex civil (as in married at City Hall and not a church) marriage repealed after the California Supreme Court ruled that under the California state constitution gay and lesbian couples have a right to civil marriage. Despite a federal court ruling that this repeal of same sex civil marriage is unconstitutional, gays and lesbians still cannot be married in California.
2009 saw same sex civil marriage repealed in Maine. The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) designated hate group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent $2 million on this vote, and the Roman Catholic Church spent over half a million dollars on this vote, while at the same time closing local churches for lack of funds. NOM is still battling in court to keep the names of their donors’ secret, despite loosing every court ruling thus far. If NOM is as moral as they claim, what are they hiding? Why do NOM’s donors demand secrecy if they are doing G-d’s work as they claim? http://nomexposed.org/2011/03/02/nom-appeals-court-ruling-on-its-maine-activities-remains-under-investigation-by-state-ethics-board/" target="_blank">http://www.American independent.com/164201/despite-grassroots-claim-most-of-national-organization-for-marriage-funding-comes-from-few-sources and http://nomexposed.org/2011/03/02/nom-appeals-court-ruling-on-its-maine-activities-remains-under-investigation-by-state-ethics-board/
By the way, this is the same Roman Catholic Church that has been rocked by a decades long, worldwide series of scandals involving paedophilia and child abuse. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church’s persecution of gays and lesbians appears to be a smokescreen to divert attention from these scandals. Additionally, in an effort to divert attention form the naked bigotry and hate spread by the Roman Catholic Church (a hate that includes persecution of women and Jews in addition to gays and lesbians), the Vatican has gone crying to the United Nations claiming that their freedom of religion (which they define to include hate mongering) is under attack and that they, not their victims are being persecuted. http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE72L4XU20110322
Nor is the hatemongering limited to religious groups. 2010 and 2011 are seeing the same repeal efforts, as well as voting judges out of office and attempting to impeach judges if they rule in favour of same sex civil marriage. The entire Iowa Supreme Court has been voted out of office or faces impeachment because they ruled the Iowa state constitution provides gays and lesbians with equality under the law, including the right to a civil marriage. Attempts to enact constitutional amendments to discriminate against gays and lesbians are currently underway in several states including Iowa. An effort to repeal same sex civil marriage in underway in New Hampshire. Both Iowa and New Hampshire are considered early must win states in the presidential nomination sweepstakes. Leading the charge in Iowa are several SPLC designated evangelical and Christian hate groups. Leading the charge to discriminate in New Hampshire is the SPLC designated hate group NOM. Additionally, the bigoted politicians in congress are attempting to re-enact the failed, unconstitutional policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). They obsessed with re-enacting DADT, because if DADT stays repealed, then the world will know that the limp-wrested stereotypes of gay men are merely stereotypes; and that gay men are strong, honourable, men that capable of fighting and defending their country. To put all this activity into historical perspective, one need only look at the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany where first the Jews were first relegated to second-class citizenship and ultimately to the gas chambers and concentration camps. For those who think I am overstating the case, one need only look at the American Christian fundamentalist inspired and promoted pending legislation in Uganda, legislation that carries the death penalty for being homosexual.
Prior to World War 2, Henry Ford wrote numerous anti-Jewish materials that were published in this country. Many of those writing found their way into Hitler’s Mein Kampf. History is now repeating itself in Uganda, where right wing politicians and the American Religious Right have been very active in seeking laws criminalizing homosexuality, including making homosexuality punishable by death.
To see how thesis already playing out we need look no further than the murder of gay rights activist David Kato in Uganda, about which the New York Times reported:
…Ms. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals, who held rallies and workshops in Uganda discussing how to turn gay people straight, how gay men sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” intended to “defeat the marriage-based society.”
The Americans involved said the they had no intention of stoking a violent reaction. But the antigay bill was drafted shortly thereafter. Some of the Ugandan politicians and preachers who wrote it had attended those sessions and said that they had discussed the legislation with the Americans.
After growing international pressure and threats from a few European countries to cut assistance — Uganda relies on hundreds of millions of dollars of aid — Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, indicated that the bill would be scrapped.
But more than a year later, that has not happened, and the legislation remains a simmering issue in Parliament. Some political analysts say the bill could be passed in the coming months, after a general election in February that is expected to return Mr. Museveni, who has been in office for 25 years, to power.
…Conservative Christian groups that espouse antigay beliefs have made great headway in this country and wield considerable influence. Uganda’s minister of ethics and integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, who describes himself as a devout Christian, has said, “Homosexuals can forget about human rights.”
Previously, the New York Times reported:
Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.
The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans,who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat themarriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity…”
One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009…
The American evangelicals referred to above are none other than members of C Street and The Family, two of the most influential and shadowy Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States. In addition to their other activities, these entities are involved in the National Prayer Breakfast that is attended by the President, by members of Congress, and by high-ranking government officials.
David Kato’s obituary, an obituary of a man who was only concerned with others including the poor, the down and out, and the proper education of school children can be found at: http://www.economist.com/node/18111806. What is striking about this obituary is that many of those who benefited from his kindness still demonized him because of their intense hatred of gays.
David Kato’s funeral was also marked by homophobic rants from the preacher who officiated at the funeral. The Talmud (Ta’anith 21a) tells us: “…This is in accordance with the view of R. Meir who said: It is a duty to carry out the will of a dying man.” How did this preacher carry out the will of a dying man with his display of hatred against the deceased, with his display of hatred against the deceased’s life work, and with his display of hatred and contempt to the deceased’s mourners? Chapter two of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) tells us: “Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own…” How did the homophobic ranting of this cleric show honour to his fellows (the deceased and the deceased’s mourners)? What kind of cleric (a man of G-d) would choose to wilfully, deliberately, with malice aforethought, inflict emotional harm on mourners? What kind of sickness demands this level of cruelty? What deity demands hate such as this?
The Guardian, in their coverage of this funeral reported:
The incident highlighted the deep, religiously-stoked homophobia that exists in Uganda, and which Kato’s friends believe may have caused his death. He was one of few openly homosexual men in the country, and was a regarded as the "grandfather" of the gay community due to his long struggle for equal rights. His death came just three weeks after he won a court victory against a newspaper that had called for him to be hanged….
Following the pastor’s departure, Kato’s friends completed the burial, before quickly returning to Kampala due to threats from some local villagers.
Nor is this situation unique to Uganda. Days after this funeral in Uganda, CNN reported:
A controversial Kansas church says members will picket before the memorial service Wednesday evening for two Florida teenagers allegedly killed by their mother.
In a press release, Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, said it will demonstrate outside the service in Tampa because the mother is a military wife and "the doomed American military declared war on God & His church."
The controversial church and its pastor, Fred Phelps, have made their name picketing near funerals of people who died of AIDS, gay people and soldiers.
In a recent 8-1 US Supreme Court ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled this church’s behaviour is constitutional. That would be the US Supreme Court that ruled against televising the Prop. 8 trail at the behest of the bigots who sponsored and campaigned for Prop. 8. That would also be the US Supreme Court that ruled that gays and lesbians cannot use the word “Olympics” in the San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee case. That would be the US Supreme Court whose ruling in Bowers v.Hardwick was such a homophobic, bigoted, disgustingly gross miscarriage of justice that decades later they overturned it in Lawrence v. Texas.
Days after news about Westboro Baptist Church’s Florida funeral picketing was reported, Republican state representative LaVar Christensen introduced two bills in the Utah state legislature that are designed to strip gay and lesbian families of all legal rights and protections. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/02/03/utah-politicians-bill-to-exclude-gay-families/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Pinknews+%28Pink+News%29 Utah is home to the notoriously homophobic Mormon Church (the Church of Jesus Christ and Later Day Saints or LDS). The Mormons also engage in the disgusting practice of baptizing Jewish dead and then claiming them to be Mormon souls.
Days after Republican bigot Christensen introduced his hate mongering legislation, Indiana Republican State Rep. Eric Turner introduced legislation to amend the state constitution so that legal protections for same sex couples will be unconstitutional. Unitarian Minister Andy Burnette pointed out: “It’s state sanctioned discrimination. Two straight people can go to Vegas, be intoxicated and be married by an Elvis impersonator and what we’re saying in Indiana is that two people in a committed relationship that care for each other can’t achieve that status. I really have a hard time understanding that.” http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/02/anti-gay-marriage-amendment-advances-in-indiana-house/
Days after Rep. Turner introduced his hate gays and lesbians bill, Tennessee Republican Assemblyman Glen Casada has introduced a bill allowing government contractors to discriminate against gays and lesbians in hiring and employment. Furthermore, this bill makes any attempt to stop such discrimination illegal. The bill is backed by Conservative and Christian groups. http://www.outandaboutnewspaper.com/article/4563
This is just a small part, read the full article here –